Sunday, June 7, 2015

A World Apart

There's nothing quite like a baby to train you to live in the present moment.  To let go of preconceived notions and take life as it comes- in its merry mad whirl and its flurry of excited screeches, protesting howls, wet nappies, mud splattered clothes and contented smiles.

Letting go comes much easier to my baby than it does to me.  He stands shakily, holding on to a small shelf for support, takes a few tottering steps along the floor, then lets go of the shelf.  My heart begins a wild thump and I rush forward to catch him as he collapses.  He smiles contentedly, gets up and is ready for more.  (I don't think I am, but I don't really have a choice).  Yes, letting go is harder than one thinks, if one thinks too much about it.

We live in a different kind of world these days, fogged up a bit by sleep deprivation, but an interesting world all the same.  A world where adult strangers come and yank the baby's thumb out of his mouth by way of greeting, during our morning walks.  (I am now used to this, and so is the baby, so we pay no attention and politely wait for the grown ups to leave.)  A world where people cannot imagine that the baby has no teeth yet and cannot bite into hard foods- yet somehow he finds food of his choice, and it seems to keep him well nourished.  A world where he has to wear eye patches for a couple of hours each morning (as he has a slight squint) and everyone asks why, how, provides theories on how the squint may have developed and how we should or should not fix it - and the doctors advise us on how to put the patches on while he is sleeping for he will never let us do it while awake.  But in reality, he sits quietly while we put the patch on, then immediately gets back to the extremely busy life unfolding around him.  He is a light sleeper and often wakes up smiling - and putting a patch on him while he is asleep always brings about howls.  So- yes- others don't always know best, even if they are doctors or well wishers.  The gross generalization here is that gross generalizations don't work.

Yes, we live in a very different world and at some time we will come down to earth with a bump (hopefully not in a gorse bush as Pooh often does, but drifting gently down like a little glider).  At this time, our world is populated with an assortment of animals and characters that are not really human.  We listen to Pooh's poems, look at the Cat in the Hat doing his amazing balancing acts, wonder what Green Eggs and Ham would taste like.  We swim with belugas, cross rivers with wildebeest, snuggle up to woolly and soft armadillos and pink rabbits.  We are at eye level with grass, muddy puddles and twigs.   We lie on our backs and wonder where the sunlight comes from and what causes shadows to be the way they are.  And when all that is done, we call it a day and fall suddenly and soundly asleep.
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